Review

Song Review: (G)I-DLE – DUMDi DUMDi

Not everything can be for everyone, and over the course of the past few comebacks, I’ve learned that (G)I-DLE’s music isn’t often for me. Even when I can objectively recognize certain songs as “good,” they still grate on my ears. I think this comes down to Soyeon’s approach to songwriting. I recognize how popular she’s become, but I just don’t connect with her style. So, it’s probably important to take that inherent bias into account when reading any of my reviews on their work.

New single DUMDi DUMDi (덤디덤디) (enough with the onomatopoeia titles, girl groups!) takes (G)I-DLE’s music in a slightly different direction, while retaining many of the quirks that I personally find irritating. It’s their first attempt at a full-on summer song, and the optimistic melody during DUMDi’s opening verse bears that out. It’s a pity, then, that the track quickly moves into a messy pre-chorus, first plunging into trap-fueled posturing before transforming into a standard EDM build.

Unlike the dreadful Oh My God, DUMDi DUMDi is anchored by an actual chorus, and the hook has potential. It’s big and brash in a way that’s reminiscent of ITZY, but the arrangement feels needlessly messy. There are quite a few competing ideas within this track, and I wish they had been streamlined into something that worked more consistently. I appreciate the attempt to bolster the song with intense, ever-shifting percussion, but a steadier groove would have given DUMDi a satisfying drive. The rhythm during the second verse is genuinely funky, buoyed by Soyeon’s compelling flow. It just doesn’t stick around long enough. Most of the time, DUMDi DUMDi is too busy pin-balling between its various segments to linger on its strengths.

 Hooks 8
 Production 7
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7
 RATING 7.5

Be sure to add your own rating by participating in the poll below!

45 thoughts on “Song Review: (G)I-DLE – DUMDi DUMDi

  1. 4/10 solely because I am completely fed up with this group and their wasted potential. The vocal colors in this group are among the most varied in kpop yet we just get crap like this. They perform covers better than they perform their own songs live and then there is the biggest problem.

    Soyeon songwriting is so limited… G dragon had “Haru Haru” under his belt by this point, Junhyung had “Fiction” in this belt by this point or even B.I had “Empty” under his belt. These weren’t just great songs, they were GREAT HITS for groups and if the songwriters had released them on their own it would have been completely different/

    Not only does Soyeon not have anything close to songs as good as those but there isn’t a single title track Gidle has released that would be change if she had released them herself because she also sings in them…..ALOT. She once said she could do vocal parts better than Miyeon and I believe her because SHE WROTE THEM FOR HERSELF.

    Liked by 3 people

      • It was on weekly idol during their uh oh promotions. She was probably joking but looking at most of Gidle’s material, I might be more honest than she liked

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    • Yong Jun-hyung weren’t credited for writing Fiction. Not sure about your standard of GREAT HITS but the first title he was credited for is Shadow, in 2013, 5th year into his BEAST career.

      Some thinks Soyeon take up too much but I also consider how much she gives. Now knowingly twist a known joke to other words just ill intended.

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      • B2st debuted in 2009 but you are right about him not composing fiction but the other 2 still stand and I fully admitted that she was joking however unlike the joke about Miyeon being the groups main dancer, there is no reason for me to believe that she is lying otherwise why sing full verses when she is literally the group’s only rapper, the vocal line literally has 3 members and its a 6 member group?

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  2. It sounds like G-idle trying to do a fun summer song by way of some melding of their “tribal ethnic” crush with a classic Twice or Red Velvet summer sound. Or Itzy perhaps. Or all of the above. Parts of the song sound in turn like copying Spica “Tonight” then Weki Meki “Dazzle Dazzle”.

    This may be a stretch, but the post chorus beat and the 2nd verse reminded me of the old Dixie Cups song “Iko Iko”, later covered by ’80’s Belle Stars, later covered by Sia. ‘https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fP01RNDDsPM If Soyeon ever heard this song it was probably the Sia version, although the beat here resembles the Belle Stars version more. Now there was good “tribal ethnic” percussion.

    I suppose that makes this the definition of “hot mess”.

    My main problem with this performance is that G-idle just doesn’t do aegyo very well. They are trying very hard here, but it isn’t in their bones. So in the end the song winds up sounding neither here nor there. Its just OK.

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    • Honestly, I was thinking the same. If Soyeon could put Soojin on a native headdress she would lol The cover of the single is clearly inspired by tribal patterns and honestly, it’s kinda hard to swallow that after Queendom.

      I don’t find the song to be overbearing, it’s just uncomfortable to see cultures as different concepts.

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      • There was a debut kpop duo in June called XRO with a song called “Welcome to my Jungle” with what could be called jungle beats break down. I think they were trying to be more Tarzan wo a wo a wo, but it was so awkward.

        And then people will say, oh yeah, so what about the Village People.
        The only group who can go there is the Village People. because the Native American actually is Native American and is wearing his own tribal attire and his dad’s own war bonnet. Not a costume, real. (or at least the first incarnations)
        Now, if his dad or his tribe didn’t want him to wear it, that is their issue to discuss, not yours or mine.

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        • Yes, that XRO song is the only track I’ve ever written a full review on and never published. It’s still sitting in my account as a draft. After learning its incredibly offensive lyrics, I didn’t want to give the song any promo whatsoever.

          It’s a shame because, content and lyrics aside, the actual song is quite good. Thankfully, the agency changed the most problematic lyrical content after getting pushback, but I still can’t imagine what was going through their heads in the first place.

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    • We are in the same boat. As soon as the percussion rolled in, I chucked all of my expectations and prepared to get bowled over by “ethnic summer.” On the plus side, getting rid of any hope for the song early on worked out well since it only went downhill from there.

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        • .
          You know how some groups work very very hard to lipsync on the music shows very well because singing would be too hard? Boyhood does us all a favor and doesn’t bother. At least that microphone is actually turned on because when he does bother you can hear it, and also the tambourine.

          The drums are playing too, but not mic’ed. I am sure the sound guy loved setting up to pick up the voice but not the drum kit right behind him going at full blast. That is why the vocal mic is so far down stage.

          I will see your Retro Boyhood, and raise you one J Pink who is also having a ton of fun on the stage.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Wow, it’s kind of sad that I enjoyed this boyhood video/song more than the song being reviewed. I honestly had high hopes for g-idle since their debut, but those hopes evaporated. I got tired of waiting for a solid release from them since.

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  3. I was worried this sound would become a trend. I’m not of a fan of that low, reverby brass bass sound that was all over Feel Special, and Izone’ stuff as well. A summer chorus should be jubilant, but Dumdi Dumdi is heavy with that bass fart.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The chorus feels like Soyeon best attempt at an afrobeat chorus. Its not moombahton anymore, but I know that for some people both genres sound the same.

    I really don’t get the use of a wild wild west imagery. I dont care about cultural appropriation, merging different sounds its the base of kpop, but I get where the ethnical hip meme comes from.

    It feels like Soyeon just picks whatever she finds cool: an afrobeat chorus, a summer song, a cowboy look and tries to combine all these elements without any depth.

    A song with country/western music mixed with african rhythms would have been really interesting, sadly its easier to just copy the main elements without going past the surface

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  5. Soyeon. Soyeon. I like your group. I really like it. Your members have wonderful voices. Your personalities work. For two years, you even had pretty decent songs.

    But you’re living in 2020 now. All the cultural appropriation really needs to stop. You’ve been called out for it a million times at this point. The Middle Eastern stuff was already pretty bad. The ‘ethnic hip’ was audible cringe in video form. And now, in Dumdi Dumdi, we have perhaps the culmination of your utter inability to take a hint.

    I don’t know why you love reducing African culture to this “beat that drum and yell like Tarzan” bullshit, but it really needs to stop. I almost couldn’t make it through the song out of pure cringe. Not that the song itself rewarded me for it… a 7.5 out of 10 is frankly generous.

    But will you change? Well, seeing as this song got 10 million views already, I doubt it. I suppose you’ll never face consequences for any of this and you’ll keep on vibing with your “ethnic hip” concept til the end of time.

    I clung onto you after Oh My God, hoping, hoping that the next you would change; but I think it’s time to say goodbye now. Sorry, Yuqi.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Soyeon basically has a wheel of fortune in her studio with different “ethnic-inspired” beats and every comeback she turns the wheel to see which one or ones she’ll be using. I guess you could say her style is solely based on “ethnic” sounds, she loves copying other cultures. In my opinion, I don’t think she’s that big of a deal of an idol producer. She can produce interesting stuff but they don’t feel original because the songs are mainly inspirations of other songs. She doesn’t make music, she copies the sound of other songs to make her own. It’s completely fine to like her music and be a fan, she has produce good songs after all, but I think this is what prevents her from being a great, prolific idol producer, like the ones mentioned previously in this comment section.

    It also doesn’t help she’s always introducing herself into random parts of the song to the point she’s always the one with the most lines. It doesn’t sit well with me that she does that not only as a producer but as a leader. The FIRST person to get a line on this song is herself and it’s a pretty big portion. Meanwhile, main/lead vocalists like Yuqi, Miyeon and Minnie get to sing one time pretty much. The former has a beautiful and very characteristic voice that, if you asked me, was one of the reasons LATATA hit that big. Everyone that year was basically trying to imitate her part. But, oh well, sure let Soyeon shine. I don’t know, the whole group dynamic seems off to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 7/10 for me, only because of the pre-chorus and hook. The chorus was fine, it had a nostalgic factor for me because it was a very common beat and style used in the Spanish and Latin music industries in the early 2000s.

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    • I’m forever crying about the ways Yuqi and Miyeon are pushed into the background. Cube/Soyeon really want to capitalize on the ‘Soyeon is a genius!1!!” pitch, which bothers me.

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  7. Unlike their previous songs which bring strong impacts, I do really enjoy this summer song which brings a total fresh image and vibe… Kinda hoping BP also will somehow sing this kind of songs too, but I don’t think they will. And personally I think it’s the best summer song that I have heard so far in 2020 if compared to Twice M&M and BP. The important thing is when I listen to this song, I feel the urge to dance with them. Despite some of the bad comments here, I think they did a pretty good job. Hoping one of the members will somehow see this comment though. Susu krap!

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  8. Jesus, I guess the knives are out for (G)I-DLE and Soyeon today. I think the song is good. I’ll leave my thoughts on DUMDI DUMDI at that.

    However, I will admit that (G)I-DLE’s discography has taken a series of strange turns recently. Their music increasingly feels like the opening song to a World Cup. It’s almost as if Soyeon just turns to the world music chart every four months for inspiration. I think she does a pretty good job at imparting her own touch on those styles, but I can see why it may grate on others. I certainly don’t think there is malice behind any of it. Maybe just light levels of cringe.

    Also, I don’t understand why people have a problem with Soyeon being the driving force behind their songs. She’s clearly the most engaging performer. I like Minnie and Yuqi, but they don’t command an audience’s attention like Soyeon, and Miyeon’s voice is fine, but she has little stage presence. To my mind, (G)I-DLE desperately needs Soyeon, and most of the time she delivers.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Got a question for you Nick/TheBiasList that I was hoping to get your thoughts on:

    Do you think (G)I-DLE has entered a similar situation with Soyeon like Blackpink has done with Teddy? Very very different circumstances and level of group popularity, but its been a thought bouncing around my head for a while now.

    Hard to tell what the underlying variables are behind comeback themes, but Teddy has been repeatedly criticized over the past couple years for pumping out mediocre quality music that hasn’t deviated from that single style (brash, loud, party/anthem like) for BP. While Soyeon doesn’t appear to have that style problem, she can’t seem to deviate at all from her given song structure. At this point I could almost predict which of the members will sing when, where, and for approximately how long. It feels like she’s getting boxed into a corner and it shows in the music quality.

    Maybe it’s a hopeful wish as a Neverland that Soyeon/(G)I-DLE will change given the success they’ve had so far, but it’s admittedly a frustrating experience to keep having high hopes for them as my favorite group when I’ve been basically unsatisfied with their comebacks since Hann (with the exception of Lion).

    Dumdi Dumdi was better than in Senorita/Uh-Oh/OMG comebacks in my view, but still a significant level below their rookie work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think they’ve become similar in this way: their popularity is growing by leaps and bounds, even as the reception to their music seems to be increasingly mixed/negative.

      Honestly, this kind of shocks me as an appreciator of K-pop music itself. Even if I might “stan” a group for awhile, I can’t imagine still being a hardcore fan after a string of disappointing comebacks. I think I’d just lose all interest (which I have, when it comes to BLACKPINK, (G)I-DLE and plenty of other groups). It makes me wonder if the appeal of these particular groups isn’t really tied to the music at all. That’s fine, I guess. I just can’t wrap my head around it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yup, if I’m being honest if it wasn’t for Lion (and to a lesser extent their personalities on variety), I probably would have stopped following them altogether. I can handle 1-2 poor comebacks but 4-5 in a row would be way to many to tolerate.

        Could be time for Minnie to write a title track or two, at the very least something like “I’m the Trend” would be different (the song flows better than Dumdi Dumdi imo).

        Although to be fair I have not been a fan of most of the recent releases by the major girl groups, so hopefully it’s just a bad phase everyone will get out of once summer ends.

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      • It is tied to belonging to the biggest fandom in the circle and owning the right to bully the crap out of other fandoms. That has always been how it works for top groups.

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  10. I like “Oh My God” more than this track, but this one wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be based on only the title. Still, it’s an unfocused mess. Soyeon has so much potential, but she is just too young and inexperienced, no doubt she will learn and grow as a songwriter and producer and we’ll all someday look forward to her new releases. For now tho, let’s all try to forget this song.

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  11. This year, I started out the anticipating girl group releases. I hardly supported boy groups, there were only about three that I would keep up with. Then so many songs from the anticipated groups made me disappointed. G-idle was one of them.

    Hey, Soyeon and Cube, if you were going to go for a wild west concept, why not a western-themed song? I bet that would be good for your fans and the general public. It’s original in the context of this year, and your supporters would eat it up. Or maybe, just maybe, go for a different concept, one that is bright but is mature at the same time, something like Verivery’s ‘tag tag tag’.

    I know I’m nitpicking here but I was genuinely disappointed in this, holding on for a different concept though!

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  12. Am I the only one who feels a bit of ‘NiNaNo’ by Minzy in this? Except hers was less grating on the ears… I miss her so much.

    I feel like we’re being a bit harsh on Soyeon, she is really talented and tries her best at producing comebacks. But I wish she would take a more unconventional route and go for a less “generic” sound. Something more like ‘HANN’. Now that was something.

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    • “Ninano”, yes the cadence of the duhm di duhm day – wayo wayo are broadly similar. One and two and three-ee and four-ee. The wayo wayo part in the meter is where Minzy had sung nano ninano

      To be fair, I don’t think it is bad, I just don’t think it is good. A bit of a mess and could have used a good amount of self-editing. NATE above mentioned how Teddy is in a rut, and perhaps Soyeon could be considered to be in a similar kind of rut. Also Hui from Pentagon too. And Woozi from Seventeen. Possibly Zico too. All in ruts. They all need to get out and listen to something outside of pop music for a long while to develop more tools in their tool box.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I see most of your (other commenters) points especially with the cultural appropriation side of things which really turned me off of G-idle’s music. I actually liked this song (only again bc it appropriated music I like). Also it felt like I finally really heard Miyeon in Dumdi Dumdi which doesn’t make sense given the amount of comebacks they had. I feel Soyeon needs to let her vocalists shine more. They have shone yea but I mean like how Sm let’s Wendy sing in their tracks. I can tell when Miyeon and Yuqi will appear in most of G-idle title tracks and it is so boring, very much like how you know when Rose & Jisoo will appear in all of BP songs. Minnie, Miyeon and Yuqi sometimes really feel wasted in her songs. Minnie and Yuqi is what draws me in Hann which is my fave G-idle tracks. I think Soyeon has great potential but she really needs to collab or get some guidance and research more about the music she is inspired by. Also, I feel like she and Minnie would really make a good team if they wrote more songs together. I’m The Trend and Blow My Mind are solid replays in my opinion.

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